First Canadian seismological
station to monitor compliance
with CTBT certified
The first Canadian seismological station in the global network of stations that will monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been certified by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Two other primary seismological stations - one at Hamar in Norway and the other at Mina, Nevada, in the United States of America - have also been certified as meeting the stringent operational requirements of the Treaty´s global verification regime.
For 30 years, the array station at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, has demonstrated some of the best capabilities in the world for detecting seismological events and, through Canadian research programmes, has contributed significantly to the development of seismological verification techniques. The Yellowknife station, like the Hamar station, can detect seismic events occurring up to 10,000 kilometres away down to a seismic magnitude of less than 4 (equivalent to a yield of l kiloton). These excellent results led, during the negotiations on the CTBT, to the selection of many other seismic array stations to form part of the seismological network to monitor compliance with the Treaty´s ban on nuclear explosive tests.
Canada signed the CTBT on 24 September 1996 and ratified it on 18 December 1998. On 19 October 1998, Canada became the first country to conclude a Facilities Agreement with the Preparatory Commission granting it the necessary legal authority to undertake work on Canadian territory to establish or upgrade the 15 monitoring stations that Canada is hosting to monitor adherence to the Treaty. Under the Treaty´s global verification regime, the worldwide network of 321 monitoring stations that are being progressively established or upgraded will be able to record data generated by nuclear explosions and other sources in the atmosphere, under water or underground. The monitoring stations will transmit, via satellite in near real time, the data to the International Data Centre (IDC) at the Commission in Vienna, where the data will be used to detect, locate and characterize events. These data and IDC products will be made available to States Signatories for final analysis.